Aging is inevitable, and skin on the face and body will naturally begin to show the signs. As the outer layers of skin lose fat, it starts to appear thin and translucent. It also becomes drier because the oil-producing sebaceous glands begin to slow. Because of collagen and elastin loss, tautness and strength are reduced, and fine lines and wrinkles begin to become more evident.
Other factors in skin appearing aged include sun damage, smoking, and muscle contractions when frowning or smiling. These may result in an aged look beyond actual years. Exposure to the sun’s harmful rays is the most common cause of premature aging of the skin. Red and brown spots, leathery texture, and collagen damage can happen with only a few minutes of sun exposure over several years.
Although facial expressions are not direct causes of wrinkles, repetition may begin to permanently etch the lines into the skin. Lines are formed when frowning or smiling, but the skin bounces back into place when the expression is stopped. Skin that is aging and losing its elasticity stops springing back and smoothing out after the lines form. Avoid repeating facial exercises or holding an expression for an extended period of time.
Smoking or being around secondhand smoke causes biological and chemical changes in the skin. It can result in a rough texture, deep wrinkles, or a yellowish discoloration.
The aging process of the skin cannot be stopped or slowed down. The best protection is to avoid premature aging by protecting the skin. Sunscreen of at least SPF 15 should be worn at all times to avoid damage from the sun. Wear protective clothing if outside for long periods at a time. Keep the skin hydrated by applying a moisturizer and drinking plenty of water.
There are many treatments available for aging skin. Botox, injections, and chemical peels are effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red or brown age spots can be reduced using electrodessication, which is a very light burning. Laser treatments may be used to tighten the skin. Be sure to consult with Dr. Zizmor for a personalized treatment program that applies to your specific case.